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Thompson on Hollywood

Must See Doc: How the Japanese Tsunami Happened

This smart C4 documentary explores what happened--talking to scientists and collecting reportage--during the 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan and the subsequent devastating tsunami. Posted by Film Detail, which collects some mind-boggling facts (below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 2, 2011 8:23 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Sundance Hit Steve James Doc The Interrupters Lands Distributor

U.S. rights for Sundance documentary favorite, The Interrupters, have gone to the The Cinema Guild. The film, from director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and author, producer and collaborator Alex Kotlowitz (bestseller, There Are No Children Here and author of the 2008 NYT article that inspired the film, Blocking the Transmission of Violence), follows three "Violence Interruptors" in Chicago -- former gang members who intervene in violent situations as they unfold in order to protect their community. The film will have a theatrical release this summer, followed by a PBS Frontline broadcast and a digital release by PBS Distribution in 2012. The Interrupters premiered at Sundance and won the Doc Grand Jury Prize at the Miami International Film Festival and True/False's 2011 True Life Fund.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 28, 2011 4:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Preview: Sucker Punch and Wimpy Kid vs. Indies

The weekend brings few mainstream releases -- just Sucker Punch and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (each mark 27% of Fandango's pre-sales, as of Thursday). If you are seeking something new, you may want to check out indie offerings from well-reviewed doc My Perestroika to Francois Ozon's delightful 70s feminist comedy Potiche starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu. Details, reviews and trailers are below.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 25, 2011 1:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Tribeca Films to Release Movies During Festival, Including Bang Bang Club

This year Tribeca Films is going forward with its long-term experiment to release some films day-and-date with the Tribeca Film Festival, in its 10th year (April 20-May 1). While some industry insiders question the wisdom of any filmmaker putting a movie on video-on-demand--much less streaming it-- before its theatrical options have been explored, Tribeca's Geoffrey Gilmore fervently believes that this sort of experimentation has to take place, while admitting that branding and marketing new films from less-known filmmakers, even with American Express advertising, is a continuing challenge. We spoke at a Tribeca party this week at the W in Hollywood that brought together L.A. filmmakers and indie execs to celebrate the upcoming fest, from David O. Russell and Gregg Araki to Roadside's Eric D'Arbeloff and Strand's Marcus Hu.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 24, 2011 8:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Tribeca 2011: Family Drive-In, Festival Street Fair, Sports Day Soccer with Pele and Pros

This year's Tribeca Film Festival free events include the return of their drive-in, a family festival street fair and sports day with ESPN. The Tribeca drive-in will feature The Muppets Take Manhattan, Fame and Haitain documentary When the Drum Stops Beating (including a live performance of Haitian-Caribbean-Jazz fusion band Septentrional) between April 21-23. For the first time, NYFest, on April 23, will have NYC's first film and entertainment soccer tournament (organized by Sony Pictures Classics' Dylan Leiner), a partnership between Tribeca and Umbro, featuring a five-on-five game with film, music, entertainment and sports pros -- all kicking off with a coin toss by soccer legend Pele (pictured).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 24, 2011 5:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Morgan Spurlock's Greatest Movie Ever Sold

After Morgan Spurlock's fast-food expose Super Size Me turned into an Oscar-nominated Sundance doc hit (and SnagFilms' best ever performer), he followed with Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? His latest, product-placement investigation The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, was bought by Sony before it played well at both Sundance and SXSW. I'll catch up with it and Spurlock at the Ashland Film Festival on April 8 before Sony Pictures Classics releases it April 22. Check out the trailer below:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 22, 2011 4:22 AM
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Errol Morris Talks Tabloid and Other Strange Topics

Errol Morris's Tabloid was one of my fave films at the Toronto Film Festival, from which Sundance Selects eventually acquired the truth-is-stranger than-fiction doc. It's screening at SXSW. Morris discovered the nugget of this story, about Joyce McKinney and her obsessive love with a man she tries to save from a cult, buried in the jump of a Boston Globe article. Only Morris would see the potential in it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 14, 2011 7:55 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Tribeca 2011: Spotlight, Cinemania and ESPN Sports Film Festival Lineups

The Tribeca Film Festival, in its tenth year, runs April 20 - May 1. Of the lineup for its Spotlight and Cinemania programs, as well as its special screening and ESPN Sports Film Festival lineup (below) programming director David Kwok says: “Now that the majority of the program has been announced I believe you will see the rich variety and quality of the films and talent that we are presenting at Tribeca this year. The program is about both discovery and showcasing a broad range of filmmaking to our eclectic and diverse audiences who are passionate about film.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 14, 2011 3:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Do Something Reel Film Festival Travels USA To Support Green Filmmaking

Whole Foods Markets' Do Something Reel Film Festival will launch April 1. In celebration of Earth Month, the festival will travel to 70 cities across America with six films to help remind audiences of the small changes they can make to benefit the planet, while also supporting environmental "green" filmmaking.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 14, 2011 3:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Fandor Streams Indie Video: Sundance Meets Netflix

Fandor Streams Indie Video: Sundance Meets Netflix
Finally, the promise of streaming movies has become a practical reality, from Amazon to Netflix. But as multiple indie sites come and go (from Jaman and Mubi to Spout), on the eve of SXSW, a new indie site launches Wednesday, Fandor, that promises a better subscription indie streaming service via its website and Facebook. For $10 a month, you can browse, sample, clip and stream its library of 2500 films, from Fritz Lang and Maya Deren classics to Alex Cox and Derek Jarman indies or Sundance docs. (Shorts are in the mix too, especially as a mobile app comes online.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 9, 2011 4:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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